Due to the hot weather predicted for Wednesday and Thursday 24/25 June 2020, Network Rail issued a statement that the Grade II-listed railway swing bridge in Selby will not be swung on those days.
Instead, the bridge will remain in the railway position. This is necessary as hot weather can impact on the operation of the bridge.
Steel rails in direct sunshine can be as much as 20°C hotter than air temperature and they naturally expand as they get hotter. If this happens on the bridge, it means that the rails cannot line back up properly, meaning the bridge can’t close again if it has already opened to waterway traffic. This would mean disruption to rail services on the route between York, Selby and Hull.
In 2014, Network Rail invested £14 million to improve the bridge and make it more reliable. The work included track upgrades, repairing steel work and improvements to the hydraulics and were the most significant improvements made to the bridge since its construction.
Chris Gee, head of operations for Network Rail’s North and East Route, said: “This has been a difficult decision and not one which we take lightly as we know this is a much loved and used waterway.
“It’s really important that we keep those who need to travel by train moving reliably and keeping this bridge in the railway position is one proactive measure we can take to do this.
“We’re sorry for any inconvenience this caused and thank people for their patience for any disruption caused.”
Whilst the bridge is expected to reopen to waterway traffic on Friday, this decision will be reviewed in line with forecast temperatures.